The Root Chakra or Muladhara (the Sanskrit word translating to “root support”) is one of the 7 primary chakras, according to ancient Hindu Tantrism and the Yoruba teachings of the Andamanese (Afro-Indo Indigenous) diety, Osumare (see below). This energy center is symbolized by a lotus with four petals (the number 4 symbolizes “foundation”), and the color red, serving as our structural foundation and stability in the physical realm.
Much like a family tree, this energetic point is associated with your sense of security, familial relationships and our sense of belonging to our pack (our sense of home and connection), when energy is flowing clearly through the first chakra, you feel firmly grounded in yourself and the world around you. It is said that karmic energy resides on this energetic plane, which includes the density of generational family-trauma, passed down through our epigenetic DNA.
In essence, Muladhara determines the sensation within us that feels like we are being swallowed alive by our woes, feeling stuck, forcefully dragging an anchor of weight, or being grounded and strong, rooted in our surroundings, alert to predator and prey, able to sense what is coming and assess how to react with more confidence and clarity.
The root chakra is like the office manager, and allows us to vet potentially dangerous situations, by assessing what our body is sensing, kind of like how a snake tastes the air to sense what is near. This center is associated with the sense SMELL — so listen to your nose, it has instincts too. This may be where the phrase "something smells fishy to me" (meaning: something is off and that makes me uneasy) derives. A skill derived through the evolutionary process, thanks to our pre-lingual ancestors, who knew how to tap-in to their inner guidance systems as a means of survival. This chakra is where we energetically draw water (purification) and nutrients (information) from the Earth (our surroundings) taking in the material world around us and informing our internal energetic world. As does the root system of a tree, our physical human roots function as a natural detox point, drawing in clean energy through portals in our feet and hands, while expelling waste and transmuting ions. This point is where our kundalini energy begins, rising up the spinal column as we expand our lower consciousness and learn how to sublimate the energy into our higher consciousness.
Root Chakra Functions and Kundalini Energy
The root chakra corresponds with the pelvic plexus, which oversees our excretions, including in sexual activity. The kundalini (cerebral spinal fluid said to be coiled at the base of the spine) has to rise through the other chakral energy centers on the path, in order to awakening kundalini consciousness. It is said that Muladhara energy (our root) is the protector of the wellbeing of the Kundalini at the time of awakening. This is a key reason why it is important that we identify imbalances and heal them, in order to heighten our awakening and expand our consciousness.
Contrary to puritanical thought (yes, we're going there), the same energy that controls our sex-organs is also the very home of our innocence, individuality and our root's sense of security in life is informs our wellbeing over a lifetime. Some of their functions include how we care for our physical health and eating habits, which have an impact on our body's vitality, stamina, strength, enthusiasm and drive. Privilege and lifestyle habits also play a roll, which increase our ability to feel organized at home and how well we budget our finances. Though, nature isn't ruled by human-made rules, but rather the laws of nature, which is home to us all.Luckily for us, everything that we need in order to heal, can be found in nature.
Depending on which human-constructed-classist bubble you happen to be born into (inherited rather than earned), your life experiences in regards to safety and financial security could lead to overwhelming worry and stress, or a grounded sense of stable abundance and prosperity without attachment. Sadly, in our society and many others, money and access (ahem, power) can tend to inform the projected destiny of our health (ew... ouch!)
How do we even the playing field a bit?
There are lots of different ways of living alternatively, be it big shifts like living an off-grid lifestyle and switching to an alkaline diet, or smaller adjustments, like being more self-sustained by growing organic veggies in our windowsill and making our own clean body-care products as a family, once a month. Health is a journey, It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
One of our greatest resources is time. So, now that we know the pillars of a strong root system, how can you devote more space and time to the following areas? 1. When/where do I feel a strong sense of purpose and identity? 2. When/where do I feel fully alive, and why? 3. Where and with who do I feel a sense of belonging and feel supported by community?
The root chakra holds our foundation for a healthy life, and grants access pathways toward maintaining the health of all the other chakras — which, makes it an ideal first-step for achieve overall wellbeing.
11 Powerful Herbs that Support our Root Chakra and Balance Muladhara Energy
A good source of micronutrients, including vitamin B6 and manganese, this herb is also great for the liver, an organ which is linked to our reproductive system. Contains inulin, a soluble and prebiotic fiber that helps improve digestion and lower blood sugar. Known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant (combats oxidative stress) abilities. A natural diuretic that supports general detoxification, including the blood purification, lymph system strengthener and skin soother. Historically, burdock tea has been consumed at least once a week for grounding.
Chicory Root Chicory root has been long used as a coffee alternative, nutrient-rich and loaded with fiber, known to support the liver and kidneys. It stimulates the appetite, increases digestive enzymes and acids to increase nutrient absorption (used to treat malabsorption issues and anemia), and often helps to relieve constipation. Contains inulin, a soluble and prebiotic fiber that helps improve digestion and lower blood sugar, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. A great source of plant polyphenols, which help to combat inflammation and oxidative stress. Used to treat eczema and regulate the thyroid.
Dandelion Root Like burdock, dandelion is also “grounding”, great for the liver, and cleansing. Like chicory, some “coffees” are also made with dandelion root. It is helpful to our skin health and joint problems, including acne, eczema, arthritis and rheumatism. You can consume both the root and the greens to strengthen your connection to your body, helping you be more conscious and aware of the present moment.
Cinnamon Bark Cinnamon is warming, grounding and energizing, derived from the bark of a tree. Use it to increase blood circulation and stimulate digestion, since it improves our sensitivity to inulin (a key hormone that regulates metabolism and energy use). Known to help support blood sugar, protect against heart disease and reduce inflammation. Cinnamaldehyde, one of the main active components of cinnamon, may be beneficial against various kinds of infection due to its anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
Ashwagandha Root An adaptogenic herb that can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by combating free-radicals in the body. Powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, shown to improved brain function (memory), calm the nervous system, and boost our immune response. Reduces cortisol levels in the body and can help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This root is classified in the night shade family, and may be bothersome to those with Hashimoto thyroiditis antibodies or other auto-immune disorders. Lemon Balm Leaf Aphrodisiac properties make this herb helpful in increasing libido and the desire to have intercourse and improving general enthusiasm for life and the desire to live more fully. Known to help protect and cleans the aura, and attracting prosperity. Brings clarity to the mind and also repels insects when used topically.
Ginger Root The first word ever used for this spice was Srngaveram, from ancient Sanskrit, meaning “horned body”. Beneficial for ramping up digestion and the digestive fire, as well as nausea. A powerful anti-inflammatory, helping to turn off pain-causing compounds in the body, including menstrual cramps, and boosting immunity. Used to balance the Chi, promote health and vigor and help invoke the divine masculine within.
Peppermint Leaf Aids in relieving symptoms of anxiety and stress. Menthol acts as an antispasmodic and helps to boost blood flow to the brain and sooths the stomach – making it great for mental and physical fatigue, as well as cramping and digestion. Supportive in weight loss, reducing heartburn, skin irritations, treating acne and inducing sleep, all by ayurvedically cooling down the body. Known to treat headaches because of its muscle-relaxing properties, as well as treating symptoms of PCOS and boosting sex drive.
Fenugreek Seed Contains phytoestrogens and flavonoids, which mimic estrogen molecules in the body while regulating excess estrogen, which in turn supports healthy estrogen levels. Lessens the pain and symptoms associated with PMS (can delay your period).
Aids in milk production and balancing hormonal levels before and during menopause.
Nettle Leaf A blood and Qi tonic that is ideal for supporting the menstrual cycle as well as postpartum cleansing. Beneficial for increasing iron deficiency and reducing inflammation, studies indicate that this nutrient dense herb can raise blood antioxidant levels, helping to defend your cells against damage from free radicals. Helps to treat enlarged prostate and may help lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and allowing them to widen. Packed with essential amino acids, which are important for immune health, including seasonal allergy relief. Not to be taken with diuretics.
Motherwort Whoa Momma! This bitter ‘mother herb’ is known for its calming properties, easing anxiety and lowering blood pressure. Used to regulate the menstrual cycle and ease symptoms of menopause. Helps to regulate heartbeat, aids in digestion and appetite, and promotes a healthy sleep cycle. A potent Heart Tonic, effective in supporting the mother wound, postpartum cleansing.
*Disclaimer: As with any thing we ingest, it is wise to consult your doctor if you are unsure whether an herb or food could interfere with your current medications or illness.
Our Healing Tonic & Tea Blend
Looking for herbal support? We’ve taken some of our favorite root chakra balancing botanicals and turned them into a healing tonic!
Our Organic ROOT CHAKRA TEA also known "TapRoot Tea" that is a healing supplemental blend specially designed to help with grounding when dealing with oxidative stress and inflammation, with antispasmodic effects of the reproductive organs (notably, the prostate and uterine glands) and circulation in the lower extremities. This blend is particularly helpful in providing relief of uterine cramps, mood swings, inflammation and headaches associated to PMS and menstruation, with the production of prostaglandin.
Drink 2 to 3 times per day when and/or before experiencing these symptoms of menstruation for more optimal results. These electric teas are naturally caffeine free and made of high vibrational organic plants, blended by hand in small batches.
Ingredients: (Organic) Lemon Balm Leaf, Dandelion Root, Ginger Root, Cinnamon Bark, Peppermint Leaf, Fenugreek Seeds.
Signs and Symptoms of a Potential Root Chakra Imbalance
When our very first chakra is unable to self-regulate it becomes much like a clogged pipe, so the rest of our body is unable to receive the healing flow of energy that keeps us well. As you may be wondering, this could throw off every other chakra in the body, or overtime of imbalance, could develop into a chronic disease. Here is a quick guide to help identifying imbalances, where they lie on the spectrum. Let's take an in-depth look at how to strengthen your understanding and begin your own journey toward healing.
· Clumsiness/Coordination issues
· Poor circulation in the lower extremities
· Irregular Bowels Movements (IBS, constipations, diarrhea, gas)
· Colon/Rectal issues (hemorrhoids, polyps, colon/prostate cancer)
· Spine or skeletal issues
· Pain, heat or tingling in the Hips, legs, knees and feet
· Lower back pain
· Kidney/Bladder sensitivity
· Decreased sense of smell
· High libido or overactive sexual urges
· Physical Addictions
· Reproductive health issues
· Skin/complexion (lesions, rosacea, dryness)
· Weight fluctuation (overeating/undereating/appetite)
· Inability to connect with others and anti-social behavior
Identifying The Nature of My Imbalance
Is my Muladhara Over-active or Under-active?
The way we can become deficient as a society or individual, is through the loss of innocence, valour, purity, shame, or upholding status quo, judgment, control. This can be particularly damaging to us after stressful or violent trauma, when our muscles memory sends signals in the form of chemical secretions to the nerves and to the psyche, setting off an imbalance. The signals we can look for that directly affect this region of the body are manifested through the organs that they influence, the prostate, womb, sex, excretion, and even smell (including pheromones).
It is said that chronic imbalance to the Muladhara may occur within the first five years of life, and/or a maternal wound, with traumas such as abandonment, loss, instability or displacement. Here are some tell-tale signs to look out for when identifying the nature of an imbalance.
An Over-active Root Chakra (too much Muladhara energy)
If we possess an overstimulating amount of Muladhara energy due to blockage, signs may manifest as feeling anxious (or fear of the future), due to fear or scarcity related to our physical/material world. An overwhelming feeling of not being able to have your basic needs met. Some of the emotional responses associated to this root over-activity could show up as frustration, stress, restlessness, impatience, anxiety, manic mood swings, overactive libido, sexual aggression or sadistic behavior, controlling “over protective” and domineering, manipulation, excess of physical energy, self-inflicted violence or demonstrating abuse toward others.
This imbalance could also appear as becoming materialistic, hoarding, obsessed with money or security, greediness, over-indulgence, addictions, manifesting as weight issues, being territorial, selfish/possessive, critical, judgmental, stubborn and resistant to change. Physiologically, we go into self-preservation mode, our defenses and emotional walls go up, like energetic survival armor, so that our body may prepare for impact.
When our very first chakra is unable to self-regulate it becomes much like a clogged pipe, so the rest of our body is unable to receive the healing flow of energy that keeps us well. As you may be wondering, this could throw off every other chakra in the body, or overtime of imbalance, could develop into a chronic disease.
Under-Active Root Chakra (not enough Muladhara energy)
With an under-active amount of Muladhara, our defenses may become weakened by malnutrition, symptoms could manifest as feeling unalert, unprepared, ungrounded/unstable, clumsy/uncoordinated, disorganizedn, nervous, fearful, worrisome, depressed (dwelling or stunted in the traumas of the past). We may experience low levels of self-esteem or confidence, or get stuck in self-doubt, cowardice/passive, lack of focus or discipline, low sex-drive, low stamina, lethargy, apathy or lack of enthusiasm, and disinterest in life o feeling like “giving up”. Unwarranted feelings of being unwelcome, misunderstood or not belonging or “fitting in” may flow to the surface. This is because our energetic body feels disconnected, detached from ourselves and the world around us. Beneath the surface, we may be hiding feelings of shame, dread, unworthiness, distrust, suspiciousness, paranoia, fear of change, lack of personal boundaries, co-dependent behavior, financial difficulties, and triggering symptoms of past abuse. When we cleanse and nourish our foundational roots, we strengthen our ability to survive, heal and grow.
Herbalism and Holistic Healing
In addition to a nutrient dense diet, ample rest, relaxation and incorporating regular bodily movement and stress management techniques, adding herbs is a highly beneficial way to improve grounding, instinct, coordination and overall wellbeing.
It is said that all we need in order to heal can be found in nature. Herbalists of the past have truly paved the way for today. Alchemical Herbalism is the basis for modern-day medicine and has a long history dating back about 4,000-5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, Egypt and India in the form of Ayurveda and Herbalism-based Chinese Medicine. Though, the use of herbs can be traced to the time of our neanderthal ancestors, over 60,000 years ago, and is still practiced today. The medicinal practice of herbalism are is ideal for treating the root cause, slowing progression and even reversing ailments for good, when caught and treated early on. The key is to start with prevention and treating blockages before chronic disease and cancer set in, at which time emergency care measures may be more aggressive in either treating the symptoms with chemical medication (often bringing with it new side effects) or surgically removing the surface issue. The use of herbs, movement and lifestyle are all holistic practices, meaning, treating the being as whole, like repairing a machine rather than simply replacing spare broken parts.
Where does this ancient herbal knowledge come from?
It’s ancient, and was been here long before western philosophies outlawed natural healing modalities, demonizing practitioners, and labelling them with the originally derogatory term “witch” or "witch doctor", due to ignorance and fear surrounding "magickal forces" and ritual healing practices, that are now backed by modern science.
Basically, it used to be a crime, in the americas to be a practicing herbalist and work with “unimaginable forces” (typically a shift in chakra energy). Truth is, the plants and celestial bodies that surround us not only tell a tale, they provided us with centuries of healing, nourishment and alchemy (the ability to change one compound into another, by combining or altering its physical makeup).
Alongside Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda (the “Story” or “Science of the Body”) is considered the first recorded form of medicine, as the study of constitution and herbal properties, and is the root of all contemporary medical practices from herbalism to western medicine (which tends to deal with treating isolated symptoms through pharmaceuticals and surgery, rather than tracking root causes or prevention).
Our ability to open up and observe without having to take or impose comes from a place of existing in the present moment, without carrying the burdens of karmic density and unchecked grief. You guessed it, this ability is directly linked to a balanced Root Chakra. Developed over millenia, it is thanks to our Indigenous ancestors and contemporaries across Africa and Asia, and Turtle Island (also known as north america) that we have access to these ancient teachings, gathered by Original Peoples and their relationship to the Land. This could not have been done with all of the modern-day regulations prohibiting self-care, experimentation and connection to the spiritual medicine (energy work) within us and external to us. This practice of understanding knowledge is thanks to our instincts, our root, and the choices we make from either a place of balance or imbalance.
History imforms us that these profound teaches needed to be cleansed by someone elses standards in order to be digestible. When we steal others resources and teachings we no longer have a full-spectrum understanding of those lessons. In a sense, we remove the nutritional facts, and assume the ingredients, turning a blind eye to how the information was derived or being thoughtful about the processes it took to acquire or create what we consume.
It’s time we start asking: Is this way of learning the most nutritious for me to take in? Did I derive the information from it’s source, or was it processed through colonialism, white-washing, access and mutation? Was this ancient wisdom being passed on to me by the same folks who at one point villainized and outlawed it, later to erase it’s cultural people and somehow “purify it” by appropriating the parts that sounded light and lovely, in order to exploited it’s “natural magic” for personal gain? If we truly asked ourselves this question, we may find his to be true in regards to most post-colonial westernized teachings of today. Everything that we have been taught in westernized spaces is stunted, a mere costume or cosplay of the truth. It is no longer holistic in nature, because we isolate and take what we want, and throw away the rest (typically essential for proper digestion or absorption of said isolated substance). In math (the language of science), we have to do the long division to understand how derived at our final sum. We have to show the process of how a given number changes into a new sum once we subtract, add, divide or multiply something from it, otherwise we haven’t truly expressed the full formulaic lesson.
Physical Body and Energetic Body
As sentient beings on Earth, we have an a physical body (the perishable mortal flesh and bones, tangible in the material world, the avatar that houses our spirit) and is often referred to as our temple. Our energetic body (the imperishable immortal energy that animates us, also referred to as spirit, soul or divine energy), and , and that sometimes ghostly idea is what scares many folx away from looking more deeply into our body's internal communication systems. Like a machine, our energetic body is the one running the show behind-the-scenes, sending signals to the physical body via seemingly involuntary responses. Both aspects of us are often referred to as simply "our spirit", or the overall vitality which encompasses varying realms and states of consciousness (subconscious, unconscious and conscious), mind, body and soul and functions that together make up a one being's experiences in a given lifetime.
"The physical body is like a roadmap to understanding the health of the soul."
Now that we are aware that our body is always reporting about what is happening below the surface and all around us, in form of shifting emotional states, irritations/triggers, immune deficiencies, disorders, and hormonal secretions (managed by the root chakra), we can then follow these clues to identify imbalances, in order to determine root-causes and their remedies.
When I learned to read my bodily sensations and manifestations of illness and discomfort, I realized that we are each gifted a very real manual for survival and longevity in this lifetime, our bodily senses, as told by our individual chakral energy centers. The sooner we start listening, the easier it will be to prioritize our wellbeing and maintain overall health. In doing so, we are more equipped to reconcile our imbalances and align our life choices in a way that allows space to follow our bliss! (doing more things that enduce joy)
Karmic DNA and Reconciling Trauma Joy is Something that I consider extremely vital to the healing of Black and Brown bodies trying to heal energetic generational trauma that manifests itself as epigenetics (scientifically proven fact; please google it) in the physical/physiological world. It takes a lot of energetic reconciliation in order to exist in a colonized reality, and surviving in a anglocentric world without accumulating more imbalance and illness, because we are so bogged down by density, scarcity, depression/anxiety, historical/ongoing racism and violence.
So what do we do with all of this unchecked bagged? We talk about it, and acknowledge the burdens of our ancestors. What a trip these past 500+ years have been! Let's unpack it, instead of holding it all in and dragging it around like silent ball and chain. It's time to get back to our original therapist, eternal home and place of respite; the only psychiatrist that is always on call, Mother Nature. We have every right to establish roots as displaced people, after generations of feeling unwelcome... (see where I'm going with this?). The feeling of being "unwelcome", "not fitting in" or "not belonging" is already sign of a deficient root chakra, nevermind it being weakened and overburdened by toxins in our physical, societal and emotional world that tells us that we are "not deemed good enough to have privilege". Psh... bump that noise! It's time to slay that dragon by facing our shadows (individual and collectively). When we take steps to life with greater intention, we shed societal norms that uphold the status-quo.
Returning to nature, embracing the element of earth (the physical essence of the Land) we step into a living breathing eco-system that is consistently self-regulating and recalibrating their collective nervous system. When we return to our natural state of being, with less pressures associated with creed and caste, we are able to live more presently in the moment, facilitating what we all came here to do, thrive.
Cleansing with an Herbal PeriSteam Practice
I don’t know if you heard, but our genitals have a voice too! Referred to commonly as Pelvic, Vaginal, Bajo or Yoni Steaming (also useful for cleansing the Prostate and Colon), this knowledge and centuries-old healing methods have historically been handed down generationally through the grandmothers, as a right-of-passage, typically initiated upon the first menstrual period.
While surgery may momentarily heal the physical vessel, it does not repair the soul of your womb, which tells the tale of past trauma as the root cause. If you are experiencing physical symptoms, you may consider another highly effective holistic healing practice known as ‘Peri Steaming’, which is an ancient herbal detoxification process that uses gentle steam paired with medicinal herbals to draw out toxins and heal through the reproductive organs to the depths of the womb.
Ailments commonly addressed with Peri Steaming
• PH Imbalance • Cysts • Fibroids
• Fistulas • Infertility
• Endometriosis • ED (erectile disfunction)
• Sexual Trauma
• Uterine Fatigue
• Missing or Irregular Menstrual Periods • Excessive Clotting
• PMS and PMS-related Depression
• Menstrual Bloating and Cramping • Intermittent Bleeding (Spotting between periods)
• Genital Infections (yeast overgrowth, HPV, BV, etc.) • Some STIs (sexually transmitted infections
• Toxic Shock Syndrome (often caused by the overuse of tampons)
• Supports Detoxification
Survival, Instincts and Interdependence
When in balance, we more able to stand, sit, step, act and exist with confidence. The is relative to the color lotus flower pointing downward, signifying the flow of energy grounding into the earth, like walking trees still energetically planted into the Land. When we come back to grounding we come back home to ourselves. When we ground in nature, we are realigning ourselves to the eco-system of nature. When we steward and protect the Land that coexist with in order to survive, we become nature once more, allowing the flow of care to be reciprocated as we integrate back into community with all the life which we share an atmosphere with — in that moment, we are in true relationship. Let's Get Introspective "The more we nurture it the more it will grow" (a powerful teaching from nature). If the Root Chakra imbalance tells the tale of how well we are able take in and interact with the natural world around in order to feel safe, welcome and grounded, then, we might want to look at how we treat the relationship that we have with our ourselves.
Am I cultivating a safe-space in my internal world? How effortlessly am I able to release worry and fear, in order to be more fully experience the present moment?
Additional Practices That Support Root Chakra Health
Forest Bathing (see forest bathing blog > here)
Grounding/Earthing (walking barefoot on the soil)
Yoni Steaming / Perineum Steaming (consultations available > here) Color Therapy
Sound Therapy (Frequency: 432 Hz)
Crystalline energy (bloodstone, black tourmaline, red jasper, obsidian, carnelian, ruby, agate) Detoxifying foot herbs (Chinese medicine)
Ayurvedic Basti Oil-Pulling (for joint inflammation)
Mantra Chanting (“Lam”)
Inner Child Work (Healing the “Mother Wound”)
Aromatherapy - Smell (frankincense, myrrh, rosemary, sandalwood, clove)
Shamanic Extraction Reiki and Acupuncture
Kapha Dosha Balancing foods (Ayurveda)
Anti-inflammatory diet (seek out unprocessed whole Alkaline foods)
Low-impact Stretching (engaging feet, legs and pelvic floor)
Physical Yin Yoga (movement)
Tai Chi and Martial Arts
Belly Grounding (as in yogic “Cobra pose”)
Slackline or Tightrope walking (balance)
Massage for circulation (lower extremities)
Examples of Root-Supporting Asanas by @TheLazyYogii on Youtube
Yoga Stretches for Hips and Lower Back:
Yoga Sequence for Sciatica: